"If men could control their dicks, do you think we would wake up every morning hard? Do you think I wanna deal with that in the morning? No, I just wanna get some coffee, read the newspaper."—Franklin Ajaye
An erection isn't always wanted, or even the result of sexual arousal. Such a "Raging Stiffie" may not be erotic, but it is a staple of comedic fiction.
Common causes of an unwanted or unexpected erection prevalent in fiction include:
- Overactive hormones: An unwanted erection with no or minimal stimulation is a fairly common (although hardly universal) side effect of being a teenage or 20-something male in real life. In fiction, sufficient reliance on Refuge in Audacity or a sufficiently adult target audience enables this trope, allowing for comedic consequences and an exploration of "coming of age" issues.
- "Morning Wood": In real life, some males often wake up with an erection, particularly if warm. In fiction, any treatment of this inevitably degenerates into seriously off-color comedy. The correct medical term for this is nocturnal penile tumescence.
- Viagra: This wonder drug does have the comedic effect of inducing erections that last a long time even if they are unwanted and the situation is inappropriate.
Most of the time this is Played for Laughs, and doesn't last longer than a few minutes. However, the condition known as priapism (prolonged erection) is dangerous, and can lead to penile amputation. (Ew!) That's why Viagra commercials tell you to "seek immediate medical attention if an erection lasts for more than four hours."
Just as a point of note, men have erections from the time they are infants. (Double "Ew!") In fact, a male has his first erection inside the womb. (Triple!) Unfortunately, since Most Fan Fic Writers Are Female, it's not an uncommon trope for a male character just on the cusp of puberty to be "shocked" that his penis has suddenly become rigid. This would not shock any male. What shocks males is that it's now happening so often and at the wrong time.
For sneaky instances in manga, look for the sound effect "kin kin kin" combined with any degree of blushing or nervousness.
No real life examples, please; we don't care, because it doesn't matter from a storytelling point of view.
Anime &and Manga
- The morning one happened to Shinji in the Alternate Universe from Neon Genesis Evangelion. Unfortunately for him, Asuka was the first to notice it. Cue slapping.
"Come on, GET UP!" *Beat* "You stupid pervert, I didn't mean to get THAT up!"
- Also, his "thermal expansion" when overhearing Asuka and Misato at the hot springs.
- The morning version is practically a defining trait of Ryo from City Hunter (manga only). As he says, "It just means I'm healthy!"
- The second volume of The Kindaichi Case Files manga had Hajime suffer from this. Worse yet, Miyuki thought it was something in his pocket and started going through them. The next scene Hajime has a slap-print on his face.
- In the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni manga, Mion comments on Keiichi being "perky" in the morning (with an arrow following her gaze to his crotch, if the innuendo was too subtle for you). She may just be teasing, though... Keiichi does make a comment on how its her fault he'd be "perky" though.
- In the first arc of Kai, Rena survives becoming a zombie in Zombie Tag when she induces this in Keiichi.
- In Genshiken, Sasahara is implied to have one during his date with Ogiue after she whispers in his ear.
- Gantz: Teacher, Kurono's got a hard-on!
- The hentai Very Private Lesson is all about this trope. Aya, a 16 yr old high school student, pretty much does nothing but give her teacher Tairaku one unwanted stiffie after another. She even says straight out that she teases him because he's so good at controlling his urges. And the penalty if he loses control: among other things, being cut up slowly by the local head of the Yakuza, who just happens to be her father.
- In Full Metal Panic!, the novel version of End of Day By Day, when Gauron was reminiscing about how he first saw Sousuke, as well as talking about how Sousuke was a beautiful Assassin Saint that he wanted to kill and rape, Gauron starts taunting Sousuke... and through the darkness, Sousuke notices something from the middle of the bed that seemed to be rising and "beckoning" him. Since Gauron had no arms... or legs... and there's really nothing else other than that thing between his legs that could possibly be coming from the middle of the bed... yeah. It's sufficient to say that Sousuke was thoroughly freaked out.
- The second episode of Trapeze is about this, in the form of an erection that lasts for days. Eventually it's revealed to have psychosomatic causes. (it is acknowledged that this kind of priapism is unrealistic)
- Makie notices that Negi is growing (NSFW)
- In Ladies versus Butlers!, Sanae straddles main character Akiharu's lap in order to scrub his back (she apparently didn't think it through very well) and can't seem to work out what is poking her in the butt  (NSFW)
- Seiji in Midori Days: it's not his fault his body works just like any other boy's!
- There is a notorious panel in Parasyte where the main character (who has an alien in place of his right hand) gets aroused... and the alien, reflecting this arousal, turns into a giant penis.
- Saiga of Speed Grapher gets an erection whenever he takes exciting photographs with his camera.
- The soft-core hentai series Magical Twilight finds the protagonist, Tsukasa, getting one of these when the witch, Chipple, tries to clean up a drink she spilled in his lap. This being a hentai series, this naturally went exactly where you'd expect it to go.
- Oyasumi Punpun: Punpun goes on a date with a classmate and has a boner the whole time just from being with a girl and anticipating getting laid. She doesn't notice it. Goes into Squick territory when he tries to rape her.
- Keitaro of Love Hina has been caught with one of these more than once throughout the series, due to the first two types. Much to his embarrasment.
- In Tenchi Muyo! GXP this trope shows up in an early episode. Since main character Seina won't wake up and get out of bed his friend Kiriko tears the covers off only to discover his morning wood, he is shown in the very next scene eating breakfast with a large red (undeserved) slap mark on his face.
- Happens in Boys Empire - Hitomi, riding on a train with Makoto, is less than thrilled about having caught him in bed with his mother and is busily griping about it; thinking about it, combined with the train's jostling, causes Makoto to get one of these. She mutters "You're hopeless" before dealing with it.
- In the Hentai anime OVA Darling, the husband enters Super Erection Mode! when he's getting inspiration for the dirty manga he draws. A bunch of elephants run by when he does.
- There is a G-Rated version of this trope in Brock whenever he meets a charming lady, regardless if they are already married or not. Basically, it's gotten to the point that when he doesn't have this around Inexplicably Identical Individuals, he starts getting suspicious (often he's right; it's Team Rocket or someone else disguised as the Nurse Joy or Officer Jenny).
- The titular character of Hajime no Ippo is repeated victim, as if being mocked by his gymmates for his Gag Penis wasn't enough. One of them happens in the water, when he sees his Love Interest in a swimsuit for the first time.
- The Umisho manga occasionally shows Takeda's reaction to the Fan Service surrounding him.
- Satou gets one twice in Ben-To—one in Episode 5 while Matsy takes care of him after he gets the shit beaten out of him by the Monarch and another one in Episode 7 after seeing the Brunette's top fall off. He manages to weaponize the latter by using it as a rudder. It Makes Sense in Context.
- Heavily implied in a Wandering Son chapter. Shuichi is getting a massage by his girlfriend but ends up getting an erection. His older sister walks in right when it happens, causing a stir. This is an even bigger issue since the protagonist is Transsexualism.
- Causes a problem for Thugboy when he is sharing a bed with Ninjette in Empowered.
- The Boys features a Russian super named "Love Sausage. He runs into a topless bar and is incapacitated because he can't run straight with a massive erection.
- In the National Lampoon comic strip Timberland Tales by B.K. Taylor, Maurice the little Canadian-Indian boy inadvertently sees Kathleen in the shower and gets a sudden erection - he panics and cries out "'Alp! Some kind animal in Maurice's pants!"
- The Girl Who Lived spends way too long on Cedric's "morning salutes". Yes.
- A Redwall fanfic existed in which two guys fell asleep spooned together, and when they woke up one's erection had managed to work its way inside the other guy's rectum while they were still asleep. MSTing here.
- Many a Naruto fanfic has Gaara experiencing this, and being confused (presumably because no one likely would have given him The Talk)
- When Charlie Sheen's character came Back for the Dead in Scary Movie 4 this was part of his death. He accidentally swallows a whole packet of Viagra in a failed attempt to overdose. His penis inflates to ridiculous proportions and he throws himself out of a window, landing face down, with his hips nowhere near the floor.
- Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy:
Veronica: Mr. Burgundy, you have a massive erection.
Ron: Really?...Yes, I do...Um, I'm sorry, it's the...it's the pleats. It's actually an optical illusion. It's the pattern on the pants. It's not flattering in the crotchal region. I'm actually taking them back right now. Taking them back to the pants store...Oh, this is awkward...I'm gonna walk...I'm gonna walk this situation off...and I will see you later...Nothing to look at...Go back to work, everyone...Don't act like you're not impressed.
- The title character in The 40-Year-Old Virgin twice wakes up with morning wood and has trouble, uh, aiming while going to the bathroom.
- Similar to the above, in 40 Days and 40 Nights Josh Harnett's character wakes up with an erection that causes him trouble when doing his breakfast... and later has problem when he is visibly aroused during a work meeting.
- "Irene, why am I pissing like I've had sex all night?"
- In I Think I Love My Wife, Chris Rock's character has one of these when he takes Viagra.
- Which results in his having to be drained in the back of an ambulance with a very large needle.
- The opening cartoon of Monkeybone shows this happening to a young Stu Miley. In fact, Monkeybone himself is the personification of Stu's libido, as his name would suggest.
- In Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the Thirteenth one of the teens appears to die of a heart attack, but it's later revealed that he'd taken an entire bottle of Viagra in anticipation of a sexual encounter, and the raging erection kept his heart pumping.
- In his documentary A Complete History Of My Sexual Failures Chris Waitt is suffering from erectile dysfunction and takes loads of Viagra. He gets an erection that will last for about eight hours and runs around the streets of London accosting women and asking them to have sex with him, a quest which ends with him spending the night in a police cell.
- The Proposal: Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds' characters are posing as a couple, and try to act as if they were just spooning.
Sandra Bullock: What is that?!
Ryan Reynolds: It's... The Morning.
- Played hilariously in Sorority Boys. One of the boys Disguised in Drag is taking a shower when the sorority's president playfully joins him. "Stop poking me in the butt!"
- It should be noted that the president (and also the love interest of the guy she's taking a shower with - both when he's disguised as a woman and when he's a full male) is very near-sighted.
- In The Man With Two Brains, Steve Martin is teased by his new bride, and when he steps over to the french doors (lots of little glass panes), we hear the sound of glass breaking. He looks down.
- And again when he stands up with his hat on his lap. Let's just say he doesn't need to hold it there with his hands.
- Road Trip. Old man + Baywatch + Viagra.
- Chev Chelios gets "a steel hardon" after taking too much epinephrine in Crank.
- Part of the opening sequence Bubble Boy. He wakes up one morning and (due to being raised by a very conservative mother) believes that a rodent or similar has invaded his pants during his sleep. So, naturally, he grabs the nerf (with metal-core) baseball bat near his bed and gives said vermin a stout rap on the head...
- Occurs in Peep World with Nathan, during a medical exam based off his premature ejaculation.
- Happens in Bad Teacher to one of Cameron Diaz's underaged students when he watches her washing a car in skimpy, wet clothing. (She's doing it to seduce Justin Timberlake, but it works on several others as well.)
- Emperor Nero uses this to his advantage in History of the World Part One to find out which of his wife's attendants is an imposter. (The rest are eunuchs.)
- Morning wood comes as an unnerving and mortifying shock to a woman who has switched bodies with a male friend in Curse The Dawn.
- The Fionavar Tapestry offhandedly mentions this as a character gets out of bed and, with minor difficulty, into his breeches.
- Nimue Alban in David Weber's Safehold books learns just how "fully functional" her robotic body is when, as the male Merlin Athrawes, he learns that the Safeholdian version of rugby is played in the nude, and Nimue, for all her body was male, was still a woman where what was attractive to her was concerned.
- When Cayleb learns Merlin's true identity and is reminded of this incident, he finds it absolutely hilarious.
"Oh, my God! That was why you stayed in the water! Why you were so damned careful about that towel!"
- Sir Harry Flashman finds that his rather ragged trousers are quite incapable of disguising his - er - respect for the shapely but quite mad Queen Ranavalona of Madagascar.
- Judy Blume's book Then Again, Maybe I Won't is about a boy going through puberty. He often gets erections at embarrassing times, such as in school.
- IN The Pursuit of Happyness, Chris Gardner relates that, as a teenager, he often had unwanted erections at completely random times. One particularly embarrassing one happened while he was about to help up an elderly woman he used to take care of.
- A Jackass skit has Johnny Knoxville walking around with a fake penis in his pants acting completely unaware of it.
- Kevin and Perry from Harry Enfield got these in pretty much every episode and multiple times in the movie.
- Chris from Skins has this problem in one episode, due to taking a whole lot of viagra. It gets really awkward later when he dances with Angie(whom he likes) and she notices it and leaves.
- Something like it happened to Kryten on Red Dwarf when he became human; though it didn't cause embarrassment so much as curiosity. And two polaroids.
- Word of God says that Craig Charles's funny reaction to being handed the pictures was real, because the 'prop' pictures were replaced with real ones at the last minute without telling him.
- In another episode of Red Dwarf, in order to win a basketball match, Lister and Rimmer spike the opposing team's drinks with a 'virility enhancement drug'. As The Cat put it, "try moving fast with a fishing pole in your pants!"
- Happened to Spinner in an episode of Degrassi the Next Generation. The large size of it caused a bit of Memetic Mutation in the fandom.
- In season 10, Wesley falls asleep in class dreams that he ate dinner with his crush Anya, but the dinner goes badly and he wakes up with an erection.
- Elliot in Scrubs treated a patient that suffered this due to a Viagra overdose. A Hurricane of Puns ensue.
- A Speculative Fiction-Viagra version happens to Jason in True Blood after he does way, way too much V.
- In the CSI episode "The Accused is Entitled", one suspect cannot stand up after having popped some Viagra on the plane. When Catherine finds out that the erection has lasted for several hours, she tells him to seek medical attention.
- This apparently happens to Jake during his birthday party on Two and A Half Men after he mistakes Viagra for vitamin pills.
Berta: The kid's gonna need another party hat.
- The entire premise of this The Whitest Kids U' Know sketch.
- The first time Holly spoons with Ben on What I Like About You, her alarmed Inner Monologue makes the audience aware that the duckies on his boxers are moving.
- Meredith on Grey's Anatomy has a one-night-stand with a guy who turns up at the hospital the next day. "It hasn't gone away since we...you know..." Meredith was humiliated, Bailley was annoyed, Derek was hurt, and Cristina found it freakin' hilarious. "What? It's not my fault you broke the guy's dick!"
- The infamous "Erection Steve" from the British Talent Show Xtra Factor. To be fair, he is in the vicinity of Cheryl Cole (whose reaction is priceless).
- Stargate SG-1 had one instance early in the series, when Carter and O'Neill ended up on Antarctica, huddling together for warmth.
O'Neill: It's my sidearm, I swear!
- Mad About You had one in the episode Paul tries Viagra.
- Played for Drama in Dollhouse, when Victor gets an erection in his "Tabula Rasa" state because of latent attraction to Sierra (who is showering right next to him).
Victor: I'm having a man reaction.
- In an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, the perp gets one during his trial. Everyone can't help but stare at it when he, without thinking, stands up. Worse, it was being established that he liked torturing women.
- Happens in the first episode of The Inbetweeners, where Simon gets hard off a girl he likes when she flirts with him. His mate spots it and shouts out to the whole room that he has a boner, and from then onwards Simon is known as "Boner".
- A subversion in the fashion show episode; Simon is wearing ludicrously small, tight pants for aforementioned show and his friends repeatedly warn him of the perils of an unwanted erection. Instead one of his testicles falls out.
- Queer as Folk did the Viagra version of this with Ted, giving him what appeared to be a 24-hour erection.
- In a recent episode, Saturday Night Live had a fake commercial for an anti-virility drug, designed to prevent unwanted boners, like when driving your daughter's cheerleading friends home from practice.
- Cash slips Cameron pills that do this in Breaking In as part of their prank war.
- The Replacements song "Gary's Got A Boner".
- '80s Hair Metal band Dangerous Toys had a song titled "Sportin' a Woody"
- "Erection" by The Faint.
- In any genre where you have men in tight pants this trope is almost guaranteed to happen at least once on stage. Usually far, far more often than that, although it's almost always desired to show off.
- Sweet, Getting Crap Past the Radar: "Little Willy".
- "Morning Wood" by Rodney Carrington.
- "Sensei, Kurono's got a boner!" "Kurono, did you bring enough erection for the rest of the class?" "No Ma'am, just enough for the girls."
- Frequently shows up in YouTube Poop, especially involving Militron's most infamous quote:
You must be HARDENED WITH FIRE!
- One pubescent male character in the musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee gets an "unfortunate erection" in the middle of the titular bee. This being a musical, of course he has a song about it.
- In Aristophanes' Lysistrata, the male characters wear hilariously large codpieces to show their, er, mounting frustration at their women refusing to sleep with them.
- Angels in America: The Angel's approach makes men...turgid.
The Angel: The stiffening of your penis is of no consequence!
Prior: Yeah, try telling it that.
- "Hello Twelve, Hello Thirteen, Hello Love" from A Chorus Line, being a montage of adolescent experiences, touches on this subject.
- Happens to Shiki waking up one morning in the Visual Novel Tsukihime. His personal Meido who comes to wake him up is either oblivious to why he's staying under his blanket or is deliberately trying to embarrass him. Hilarious, right? Then on Ciel's route, it becomes extremely unfunny when he can't get it down because his body is no longer solely his own, and now Shiki has urges to kill people and gets off on it. This requires... you guessed it... a Deus Sex Machina to resolve.
- In one strip of Ghastly's Ghastly Comic, Smokey wakes up and notices that he's harder than he's been for twenty years. Then he notices that the erection is on the side of the bed he isn't.
- Venus Envy's plot kicks off with the main character Zoë, a preoperative male-to-female Transsexualism teen trying to hide the huge erection she's having due to seeing both a hot new guy, and her school's football team running around shirtless.
- In an early strip of Questionable Content, Faye hugs Marten, and decides to pretend he has a roll of quarters in his pocket.
- When Rayne for Least I Could Do encounters a particularly hot woman, he occasionally gets an erection big enough to cause him to fall forward.
- In an update of Homestuck, Brain!Dirk threatens to give one to Jake.
- Visibly tented pants come up occasionally in Concession, but generally no attention is drawn to them. That said, there is an erection-based joke here.
- Phase from the Whateley Universe mostly looks like a very pretty 14-year-old, but still has male genitals and thoughts. And he showers with the girls in the morning.
- How to Hide an Unwanted Erection
- Cracked.com once did a Photoshop contest on "Worst Possible Time to Get an Erection".
- Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal Theater Superhero Tryouts features Awkward Boner Hug Man. Uncomfortably.
- Key of Awesome's take on this.
- Catherine Zeta Jones causes this in The Nostalgia Critic.
- Punchline in Super Stupor once made a joke about this.
- In the second episode of Team Four Star's version of Hellsing Abridged, Jan Valentine's comment at watching Seras Victoria rip through his ghouls like paper with an almost sexual Slasher Smile on her face? "Well, at least I'm going to die with a raging boner."
- Jimmy of South Park once had this problem, and not even sleeping with a hooker helped.
- Peanut from Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law. His shield went off when he hit "superty".
- There was an entire episode of Beavis and Butthead which centred on the morning wood. It turned out the reason for it was a "Morning Wood Fairy".
- In another episode, they go to get their hair cut from a buxom hairstylist. Just being near her breasts while she shampoos their hair gives them erections that last all day. She waits so long for them to go down that Todd shows up and decides to cut their hair himself so that he can take her out on a date.
- In another one, they go to an erectile dysfunction clinic, somehow concluding they can score there. Given a test to see how long an erection they sustain looking at provocative pictures, they look at the first picture and pretty much stay up the rest of the session.
- And when Beavis' starts to go down, Butthead reminds him that they get to have sex with the girls after, it's right back up.
- One of Springfield's surprising number of prisons is called Morningwood Penitentiary.
- Although nothing is shown, Skinner suffers from an unwanted erection after Bart spikes his coffee with Viagra.
- Robot Chicken once had a fake advertisement for a toy called "Morning Wood." It was Exactly What It Says on the Tin: a piece of wood that you play with in the morning.
- Another skit involves Sailor Moon where a monster was aroused by her sexual poses. They decided not to fight, since his erection ruined the moment. The next part has the monster aroused by Queen Beryl's anger. Lastly, she's apparently aroused by Sailor Moon after looking at her picture.
Queen Beryl: Anime sure is weird.
- The memorable "Chicken Rush" scene from Bill Plympton's "Hair High" (2004), available to watch in Plymptoons Online (NSFW)
- The Venture Brothers - a nearly-drowned Hank is given mouth-to-mouth from Molotov. He acts suave and worldly until he sees the erection in his shorts, and runs screaming "My pants are haunted!!!", after dealing with the ghosts of an Indian burial ground earlier in the day.
Brock Sampson: I gotta take care of something.
- Peter Griffin once had this happen while riding on a motorcycle:
Cleveland: Peter, what the hell?!?
Peter: It's the vibration.
- On American Dad, Steve's friend Snot pops wood at the drop of a hat, and has many different names for it.
- Steve himself is almost as susceptible, at one point getting one after being slapped by Toshi's sister.